Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 298

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Page 298

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 298 SOUTHWARD HO
" I too am a man, Richard," said the other, calmly.
"A good man and a brave ; do I not know it, Elijah? But
we should not expose you on ordinary occasions."
This is no ordinary occasion, Richard."
True, true ! And you propose to go with us, Elijah ?"" No, Richard ! I will go before you. I must go to prevent
outrage. I must show to Dunbar that Frederica is your wife.
It is my duty to testify in this proceeding. I am the first wit-
ness."" But your peril, Elijah ! He will become furious as a wild
beast when Ise hears. He will proceed to the most desperate
excesses."
It will be for you to interpose at the proper moment. You
must be at hand. As for me, I doubt if there will be much if
any peril. I will go unarmed. Dunbar, while he knows that I
am with you, does not know that I have ever lifted weapon in
the cause. He will probably respect my profession. At all
events, I must interpose and save him from a great sin, and a
cruel and useless violence. When he knows that Frederica is
irrevocably married, he will probably give up the pursuit. If
Brough's intelligence be true, he must know it now or never."
Be it .so," said Coulter. And now that you have made
your determination, I will make mine. The odds are desperate,
so desperate, indeed, that I build my hope somewhat on that
very fact. Dunbar knows my feebleness, and does not fear me.
I must effect a surprise. If we can do this, with the first ad-
vantage, we will make a rush, and club rifles. Do you go up
in the dug-out, and alone, while we make a circuit by land. We
can be all ready in five minutes, and perhaps we should set out
at once."
Right !" answered the preacher ; " but are you equal to the
struggle, Richard ?"
The young man upheaved his powerful bulk, and leaping up
to the bough which spread over him, grasped the extended limb
with a single hand, and drew himself across it.
" Good !" was the reply. " But you are still stiff. I have
seen you do it much more easily. Still you will do, if you will
only economize your breath. There is one preparation first to
be made, Richard. Call up the men."